“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, President Barack Obama is speaking at the Art Gallery of NSW as part of an international speaking tour and will most likely wow the audience.
Regardless of your political opinion, President Obama has a real ability to captivate an audience and exert genuine influence. His ability to emotionally connect to listeners and fascinate an audience is why he will be remembered as one of the greatest speakers of our time.
Love it or hate it, public speaking is something everyone must do throughout their lives. Whether it’s small talk at networking events, pitching a campaign, talking to journalists or speaking at a team meeting, talking is a large part of what professionals do.
Here are three techniques that make an impeccable speaker.
The Magic of Story Telling Too often presenters get distracted by statistics and try to impress with numbers that they forget about the power of storytelling. Telling stories and personal anecdotes adds an intimate humanness that others can relate to. During his Presidency, Obama told real, personal stories which made him authentic and able to trigger emotion.
“The mistake of my first term was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times” President Barack Obama
Repetition Repeating a phrase or word is one of the most powerful speaking techniques. The use of repetition helps to reinforce a message in a way that resonates with audiences. President Obama often used the ‘Rule of 3’; a technique which gives audiences three simple points to remember.
“I believe that we can give our middle-class relief…”
“I believe we can provide jobs…”
“I believe that we have a righteous wind in our backs…”
Body Language The importance of strong body language is often underrated and can make such a difference to the way an audience receives the message. President Obama uses gestures to complement his sentences and illustrate his calm, confident manner. Body language should be relaxed, fluid and naturally emphasis a speaker’s confidence.
There is great power in a strong speaker, power to influence and inspire. Captivating an audience isn’t always easy and whether it comes naturally or not, confident speaking skills are a real asset.